Export growth better-than-expected in December 2020. However, amid the second wave of COVID-19 infections, exports could fall below previously forecasted levels in 2021.
Author: Kampon Adireksombat, Ph.D. , Panundorn Aruneeniramarn, Phimchanok Hou
The value of Thai exports in December 2020 expanded by a higher-than-expected rate at 4.7%YOY, following the global economic recovery prior to the second-wave outbreak. The value of overall exports in 2020 fell by -6.0%. Excluding gold and weaponry, exports tumbled to -8.4%.
Going forward, risks that could stall Thai exports in the short-term include 1) slowing global economic conditions prompted by the recurring waves of the global coronavirus pandemic, 2) container shortage issue, 3) the strengthening baht, and 4) risk in seafood export due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon province, in addition to the potential shortages of migrant workers. Therefore, EIC revises down the Thai export forecast in 2021 to 4.0%, falling slightly from the previous forecast of 4.7%.